Be prepared for the worst, but hope for the best

Hurricanes can wreak havoc for coastal areas, but just because we find ourselves more than 100 miles from the coast of North Carolina doesn’t mean we aren’t susceptible to the wrath of a strong storm.

Hurricane Florence is expected to be just such a storm.

Still fresh on most people’s mind are the effects of Hurricane Matthew, which hit this region almost exactly 23 months ago. Many between here and the coast continue to recover from the devastating flooding left in Matthew’s wake. Some may never return to the home they once knew.

We hope Florence won’t pack that kind of punch, but …

As many of you have already heard, area stores are being wiped out of such items as bread, mild, water, canned goods and even generators as Florence continues to strengthen and make a bee-line toward the Carolinas.

Although the hurricane is just a couple of days away from landfall, the exact path remains a bit unstable. But make no mistake, wherever it hits we will feel an impact, whether it be wind, rain or both.

That means it’s paramount that residents get themselves prepared. Some of those things should include:

— Put three days’ worth of supplies together — including food, water, medications, flashlight, batteries, cash and first-aid items.

— Know local evacuation routes.

— Know where shelters can be found.

— Stay in contact with loved ones.

— Gas up vehicles.

— Charge your cell phone and have a charger available.

— Have extra clothing available.

— Set refrigerators and freezers to coldest possible setting.

— Be sure pets also have a good supply of food, water and other necessities.

— Have some board games, books and playing cards handy.

— Gather up any air mattresses, blankets and toiletries into one area.

— Stay abreast of weather updates.

If possible, try to check on your neighbors — especially the elderly — to make sure they are prepared as well as they can be. If you can, offer them the option to ride out the storm with you. And as the storm arrives, try to avoid being near any windows — and don’t venture outside until it becomes safe to do so.

As you can see by the story on Page 3A today, officials with the city of Laurinburg and Scotland County are looking at all the possible scenarios to keep residents safe as Hurricane Florence passes through the region. Safety for all is their No. 1 priority, so heed their warnings.

The Laurinburg Exchange, along with WLNC radio, will play a key role in keeping you up to date on important information concerning the approaching storm.

We should all hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

“One cannot be prepared for something while secretly believing it will not happen.” (Nelson Mandela)